Contact information
Address

100 Gold Street
Suite 4800
New York, NY 10038

Phone

212-306-7160

Fax

212-306-7167

Board Members & Professional Staff

OCB's Board

Susan Panepento, Chair

Susan Panepento was appointed as Chair of the Board and Director of the Office of Collective Bargaining on March 1, 2015. For ten years prior to her appointment, Ms. Panepento served as OCB’s Deputy Chair for Dispute Resolution functioning as the principal mediator of disputes and overseeing the arbitration process administered by the agency. She joined OCB's staff in 2001 as the Director of Representation. Ms. Panepento is a graduate of Cornell University - NYS School of Industrial and Labor Relations and Brooklyn Law School. Prior to joining OCB, Ms. Panepento served as a Field Examiner and Attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Brooklyn, New York and practiced with the law firm Cohen, Weiss and Simon in New York City.

Al Viani, Impartial Member

For the last twenty-three years Mr. Viani has been a full-time Arbitrator and Mediator. He was formerly the Deputy Chair for Dispute Resolution at the Office of Collective Bargaining, serving as the principal mediator of disputes and overseeing the arbitration process administered by the agency (1986-1992). He has over 45 years’ experience in collective bargaining, arbitration, mediation, and fact-finding, and was the Director of Research and Negotiations for District Council 37, AFSCME (1971-1985) and President of Social Services Local 371, AFSCME (1964-1968).

M. David Zurndorfer, City Member

M. David Zurndorfer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department at Proskauer Rose LLP, where he has represented the City's Office of Labor Relations in numerous matters. He is a graduate of Penn State University and Harvard Law School. In addition to serving as a member of the Board of Collective Bargaining, he is a member of the Board of Learning Leaders and a past member of the Labor and Municipal Affairs Committees of the City Bar Association.

Pamela Silverblatt, City Member

Pamela Silverblatt is the Vice Chancellor for Labor Relations at the City University of New York; the nation's largest urban public university. Prior to joining the City University, Ms. Silverblatt served as the First Deputy Commissioner in the Mayor's Office of Labor Relations in both Mayor Bloomberg's and Giuliani's administrations. Ms. Silverblatt's labor relations and collective bargaining experience is extensive and varied, including higher education, education, healthcare, and all facets of municipal public sector services. During her career, Ms. Silverblatt has represented both unions and management.

Carole O'Blenes, Alternate City Member

Carole O'Blenes is an optional service partner in the Labor and Employment Department at Proskauer Rose LLP, where she represented the City's Office of Labor Relations in a number of matters. She has also represented public and private employers in collective bargaining, arbitration and administrative proceedings, as well as employment litigation before the federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. O'Blenes is a graduate of Boston College and Harvard Law School. She has been a frequent speaker on labor and employment matters and was a member of the adjunct faculty of The Labor Relations Studies Program of the New York State Schoolof Industrial and Labor Relations.

Daniel F. Murphy, Alternate City Member

DANIEL F. MURPHY, JR. is the Managing Partner of Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP. He represents management exclusively in all aspects of labor relations, employment law, and related litigation in addition to counseling employers on a daily basis in a variety of industries on topical employment issues. He serves as chief spokesperson for management during labor negotiations. He litigates in state and federal courts throughout the country. He represents management before arbitration tribunals and administrative agencies on the state and federal level. He litigates cases before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Murphy received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1975, a Masters Degree in Labor and Employment Law from New York University Law School in 1982 and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from LeMoyne College in 1972. Between 1975 and 1979, Mr. Murphy was a prosecutor in New York City prosecuting homicide cases.

Charles G. Moerdler, Labor Member

Charles G. Moerdler is the founding partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan's Litigation Practice. He concentrates in the areas of health care, international law, real estate, labor law, administrative law and zoning.

Born in Paris in 1934, Mr. Moerdler immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve and was admitted to the bar nine years later. Since that time he has become a prominent litigator and a civic leader. Among the may organizations which have retained Mr. Moerdler as outside general counsel are one of the largest hospitals in the country, one of the nation's largest health maintenance organizations, and a major New York City daily newspaper, for which he has also served as director. He regularly counsels Austria's largest bank in international litigation and served as Board Chairman of its U.S. subsidiary. He also acts for Austria's largest electricity and power enterprise, one of its largest realtors, and has represented other major European companies in a variety of matters. Mr. Moerdler has served as lead negotiator for numerous municipal labor unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, the Uniformed Sanitation Workers Association, and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. On numerous occasions he has been appointed by federal courts to serve as a Special Master for the resolution of complex issues. He has served as a private arbitrator and mediator in a variety of contexts.

Mr. Moerdler has extensive public sector experience. At age thirty, he was appointed Commissioner of Housing and Buildings of the City of New York, making him the youngest commissioner in the City's history. He served as a real estate and development consultant to New York City Mayor John Lindsay, as a member of the City's Air Pollution Control Board, and as Chairman and Commissioner of the New York State Insurance Fund. Currently, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Housing Development Corporation.

Gwynne A. Wilcox, Labor Member

Gwynne A. Wilcox is a partner at the union-side law firm of Levy Ratner, P.C. where she has represented unions and individual plaintiffs for over 20 years. She currently serves as Assistant General Counsel to 1199SEIU while also serving as counsel to several other unions. Prior to joining Levy Ratner Ms. Wilcox worked as a Field Attorney at Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board. Among her professional activities, Ms. Wilcox is a Fellow and Board Member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and serves as a Board Member for both the Workers Defense League and the Peggy Browning Fund. She is also an Associate Editor of the preeminent labor law treatise, Developing Labor Law. Ms. Wilcox has authored and published numerous papers in the areas of labor law and technology issues in the workplace. She is frequently a presenter to the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, state bar associations and the National Academy of Arbitrators on issues concerning arbitration, the NLRA, and other employment matters. Ms. Wilcox is a graduate of Syracuse University and Rutgers School of Law -Newark.

Peter B. Pepper, Alternate Labor Member

Peter B. Pepper is a labor consultant, playing an active role at the bargaining table, in union administration, in grievance and arbitration advocacy and training for unions in both the private and public sectors. Since 1997, Mr. Pepper has been a Lecturer in Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining at Baruch College, City University of New York. From 1999 until 2006, Mr. Pepper worked for Region 29 of the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to this, he served as a representative for the New York State Public Employees Federation and as an administrator for the trustees of U.A. Plumber's Local Number 2.

In June 2006, Mr. Pepper was re-elected to a second term as National President of the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. He has served on the Board of the Forward Association, the publisher of the Forward newspapers, and several other not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Pepper holds a Masters of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University / Baruch College, City University of New York, where he graduated with honors, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.

OCB's Staff

Steven Star

Steven Star is Deputy Chair & General Counsel. Prior to joining OCB, Mr. Star was a partner at the law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., practicing labor and employment law. He has served as a panelist at seminars for the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, speaking on topics covering both public and private sector labor law and corporate investigations. Mr. Star is a graduate of Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and Case Western Reserve University, School of Law. Mr. Star has also worked for a political consulting firm, as a labor organizer, and as a legal intern at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division in Queens, NY, and its Civil Division in Maui, HI. He grew up in Queens, NY, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two boys.

Monu Singh

Monu Singh joined OCB as the Deputy Chair of Dispute Resolution in August 2015. In this role, she oversees dispute resolution procedures relating to grievance arbitration and contract negotiations. She also administers the agency's arbitration process. Prior to joining OCB, she was the Director of Labor Relations at MTA Long Island Rail Road. Ms. Singh holds a BA with honors from Villanova University and is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law - Newark.

Abigail R. Levy

Abigail R. Levy is Deputy General Counsel (Litigation) and serves as OCB's Executive Secretary. She joined OCB as a Trial Examiner in February 2011. She received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Prior to joining the OCB, Abby was an associate at both union-side and management-side law firms in New York City, where she practiced labor law and ERISA and employee benefits law, and performed litigation.

Karine Spencer

Karine Spencer is Deputy General Counsel and Director of Representation. She is also the Information Officer. Ms. Spencer joined OCB in 2003 as a Trial Examiner. Previously, she was a litigation associate at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and at a labor and employment boutique. She received a B.A. from McGill University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Melissa Trasky

Melissa Trasky is the Senior Trial Examiner and the Director of Administration for OCB. She joined OCB in 1997 as a Trial Examiner and became the Director of Administration in 2010, overseeing the agency's finances and its personnel administration. She is an adjunct professor at New York University, where she has taught Business Law since 2004. She also serves as the President of the Board of Directors at Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, a non-profit arts organization and gallery based in Brooklyn.

Melissa went to Hofstra University School of Law, where she wrote for the Labor Law Journal. Prior to joining OCB she was a litigation associate in a law firm in New York.

Michael T. Fois

Michael T. Fois is a Senior Trial Examiner who joined the staff of OCB as an Executive Assistant to the Chair in 2007. He received his B.S. from Fordham University in 1988 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1991. After graduating Law School, Michael spent seven years with the Legal Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before starting his own private practice.

Kasey L. Baker

Kasey L. Baker joined OCB as a Trial Examiner in March 2012. She received her B.A. from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to joining the OCB, Kasey was a Labor Relations Advisor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Office of Employee Relations. She also completed full-time legal internships with a union-side law firm in Washington, D.C., the Massachusetts Division of Labor Relations, the Labor Bureau of the NYS Attorney General's Office, and a judicial internship with the Honorable R. Marc Kantrowitz of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Kimberly Nosek

Kimberly Nosek joined the Office of Collective Bargaining as a Trial Examiner in 2013. She received her B.S. from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School where she served on the Executive Board of the Moot Court Honor Society. Prior to joining the OCB, Ms. Nosek completed a Public Service Fellowship at the New York State Department of Labor Office of Special Counsel, interned at multiple New York City agencies, and worked as an associate at a global human resources consulting company

Alex Bernstein

Alex Bernstein joined OCB's staff as a Trial Examiner in 2015. He received his B.S. from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and his J.D., cum laude, from SUNY Buffalo Law School. Mr. Bernstein has experience representing both unions and management in healthcare and education. Prior to joining OCB, Mr. Bernstein served as Executive Director at the American Association of University Professors, where he represented clinical and research faculty and oversaw and directed the labor and employee relations function at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers as Director of Labor and Employee Relations and, at AdvantageCare Physicians, as Vice President of Labor Relations. Mr. Bernstein also practiced with the law firm DeMaria, Ellis & Bauch, a management-side law firm, where he represented school districts in labor, employment, and education law matters.

Lee M. Leviter

Lee M. Leviter joined OCB as Executive Assistant to the Chair in February 2015. He received his B.S., with honors, from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Prior to joining OCB, Lee was an associate for three years at a law firm where he helped represent public-sector labor unions. Prior to that, he completed internships at the New York City Law Department, the Department of Justice, Civil Division, S.D.N.Y., and the Labor Arbitration Council in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.